Monday, April 26, 2004
Studio art instructor to exhibit in New York
By Jeff Samoray, OU Web Writer
Though New York City is seen by many as the center of contemporary American art, Special Lecturer of Studio Art Lynn Galbreath is showing that not all important artwork is produced in the Big Apple. Galbreath and 12 other contemporary female Detroit artists will exhibit their new works from April 27 to May 22 at Ceres Gallery in New York. The exhibit, titled “Femmes Detroit, Art from the Motor City,” will not only feature paintings, photography, mixed media, sculpture and video work but also represent metro Detroit’s thriving art community.
“As a collection of artistic voices, this group is pretty diverse and different,” said Galbreath, who has taught painting and media drawing courses at Oakland for the past four years. “The exhibit represents a group of strong mid-career artists and shows that art is alive and kicking outside of New York. We’re trying to prove to New Yorkers that we’re on the map.”
For the exhibit, Galbreath produced three triptych paintings using 19-inch square panels. Each painting shows a face posed like a head shot along with the person’s thumbprints in the accompanying panels.
“The three works are based on identity issues and how the world is changing with regard to restrictions placed on world travel,” Galbreath said. “I asked each of the models I worked with to give me a passport photo look. The paintings are rather expressionistic, though. There is a painterly quality to them. You can see the brushstrokes and the medium by the wetness. They’re not works of photorealism.”
Expressionist painters Max Beckmann, Oskar Kokoschka and Chaïm Soutine and cubist Juan Gris all have influenced Galbreath’s work. She has previously exhibited her work at Meadow Brook Art Gallery, Oasis Gallery in Marquette, the Detroit Artists Market and many others. In 2000, 10 of her paintings were on loan for the year in the offices of former Michigan Governor John Engler. She also has earned several awards for her work, including grants from the Arts Foundation of Michigan and the Michigan Council for the Arts in 1998 and 1991, respectively.
“As an artist, I’m always trying to take my work to the next level,” said Galbreath, who paints in her studio in Pontiac. “That’s why ‘Femmes Detroit’ is an important exhibit for the exhibitors. Each of us needs to expand our horizons because it’s really hard to make it as an artist in Detroit.
“I think every artist would love their work to last forever by hanging in a museum. It’s really incredible to create work, develop your own voice and then initiate discussion among an audience. How long does a person really look at a piece of art on average? Perhaps 30 seconds? The chance to make someone pause and reflect upon your work for a much longer period of time is great.”
Galbreath also will exhibit her work in October at the District Arts Gallery in Birmingham. For more information on “Femmes Detroit, Art from the Motor City,” visit the Ceres Gallery Web site.